Candlelight event at the Beech Hill

Poet Sam Burnside
Poet Sam Burnside

Banish the November blues next Monday with an evening of poetry and music by candlelight in the comfortable surroundings of the Beech Hill Country House Hotel.

The evening is the brainchild of Patsy O’Kane, Beech Hill proprietor, whose name is synonymous with conviviality. She said the programme will include readings by writer Sam Burnside, with music by singer/songwriter, Garvin Spence on guitar and Rev William Morton, on piano. As no visit to the Beech Hill would be complete without sampling some of the hotel’s delicious homemade food, the candlelit evening will conclude with a delicious fork supper.

Dean of Derry, Very Rev Dr  William Morton, DL. INLS4514-144KM

Dean of Derry, Very Rev Dr William Morton, DL. INLS4514-144KM

“We are fortunate to have so many gifted people right on our doorstep so I thought a candlelight evening of poetry and music would be very atmospheric and a lovely way to celebrate our home-grown talent. People have such busy lives nowadays so this will be an opportunity for them to slow down, relax and unwind.”

With proceeds from the evening going to Friends of Altnagelvin Hospital, there is also the added feel good factor of knowing that you are doing something to help others, adds Patsy.

A native of Co Antrim, Sam Burnside has been living in Derry for almost 40 years where he was founder and first Director of the Verbal Arts Centre. A prolific writer, his most recent publications, ‘Forms of Freedom’ and ‘Mrs Nettlebed and the Woodlanders’, a collection of children’s short stories were launched earlier this month.

Garvin Crawford was born in Belfast, moved to England as a child but was sent back to a boarding school in Northern Ireland. Later, as a student at the University of Ulster, he came under the influence of renowned poet, James Simmons and this marked the beginning of a lasting friendship and prolonged phase of song writing.

Most people will know Rev Dr Morton as Dean of Derry but he is also a talented musician – as part of the Fleadh Cheoil programme during the City of Culture 2013 celebrations, he gave an organ recital in St Columb’s Cathedral.

Tickets for the evening of Poetry and Music at the Beech Hill Country House Hotel on Monday, November 23, are £10 (supper included). The programme gets underway at 8 pm. For further information, please contact Conor Donnelly, Beech Hill Country House Hotel, telephone 02871 349179,